Rabbi Yaakov Yosef
Rabbi Yaakov YosefHezki Ezra

Rabbi Ya'akov Yosef, son of former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has issued a halachic ruling which prohibits taking private lessons with gay teachers. “If the teacher lives a perverted lifestyle, what is vernacularly called a homosexual, one must be very careful when studying with such a person,” Rabbi Yosef wrote.

The ruling was issued in response to a question regarding taking piano lessons from a gay teacher. Rabbi Yosef discussed the issue in depth several months ago, taking a tough stance against associating with homosexuals. The ruling was published over the weekend on the web site of an organization representing what it calls “religious Orthodox homosexuals.”

The ruling generally applies to non-Jews who are declared homosexuals. The ruling quotes Rabbinic literature going back to the Talmud, as well as rulings from subsequent rabbis, prohibiting males from conducting private meetings with homosexuals. In addition, the ruling states that it is forbidden to have such people as roommates. “We are not concerned about this matter when it comes to two Jews, but in the case of non-Jewish homosexuals we must be concerned.

“Many times a father will want his son to learn to play the piano, or another instrument. Perhaps the only teacher available is an Arab, and the father hires him as a private tutor. But we suspect them of this kind of behavior and we cannot endanger our children in this manner,” he said.

Rabbi Yosef expanded the ruling to ban private meetings between children and Jews who are accused of pedophilia or are declared homosexuals as well. “When we say that Jews are not suspected of this behavior, we are talking about the average person. But as soon as suspicions have cropped up regarding someone, we must be very careful. This applies to households, and even more so for principals, who cannot hire these people for teaching positions. This applies even if the person was not convicted of a crime and did not serve time in prison for these crimes. The fact that there are questions about his behavior is enough,” Rabbi Yosef added. “There is no smoke without fire.”

In addition, Rabbi Yosef wrote that it is forbidden to hire declared atheists who do not respect Jewish teachings as tutors. “These people are considered evil, since as they teach the child they add their disrespect for Judaism. The solution in this case is to supervise the teacher,” Rabbi Yosef wrote. “You wish to hire such a person as a tutor? He must teach your child in your home, where he will fear to spread his ideas. You are not permitted to send your child to his house,” he added.